Saturday, April 9, 2011

I am a wife or, What alchemical process vaporizes a ball and chain?

I have always had trouble in relationships.  Which is strange, because I love love, and I love relationships.  I like to talk about them, write about them, obsess about them and fantasize that they are there when they are not.  And yet, whenever I have gotten myself involved in one, it has inevitably had destructive consequences in my life.  Why is that?  And how do I overcome it?  Is this a female problem?  Or more broadly perhaps, an identity problem?

Yes.  I have lots of problems.  And I love to talk about them and write about them too, for discourse is the antidote to problems.  Without placing any blame (because quite honestly I don't know where I would place it), I would like to admit that I was raised in an environment where problems were the enemy, so we all pretended that we didn't have any.  Well, ironically enough, this pressure-cooker-style containment resulted in some nasty complications for me, and it took me some time to learn how to unzip all my problem files and get them into usable form.  The catalyst for this process was my marriage to the love of my life, Wellington Lacerda.  It has been high, it has been low, and it has certainly gotten very ugly.  But, for better or worse, here we are on the eve of our second anniversary, enjoying a tender love that I always believed was possible but have never experienced.  (I'm sorry if this is getting too mushy, but I'm a girl, so I'm allowed!)  Our marriage is very special.  It happened before we were ready for it and ate us both alive during our first go.  After one year we emerged, skeletons of our former selves, in need of emergency care which we were unable to provide one another.  So I had to learn to rely on my friends and family for support through a difficult time. Thank you.

I think possibly the biggest problem that I had was that I take issue with the very idea of marriage.  I mean, aren't we past that by now?  Don't we know that humans are not meant to be chained together in pairs for the rest of all eternity?  I am a modern and fiercely, proudly, independent woman trying my best to carry on a tradition of independent women in my family - I work, earn my own money, travel solo internationally, know how to use a drill - I can take care of myself.  I don't need a man!  But, streaming just below what I considered to be my strong, female exterior were the formidable forces of nature and biology and psychology and such, shouting, "Companionship!!  Babies!!"  I didn't quite know what to do with those urges for a long time, and so for years walked around denying them, pretending that this strong-woman shell was awesome and all I needed.  But eventually it started to crack (thank god), and my emptiness became apparent to me.  Who was I?  Woman?  Or dung beetle?  Sadly, I have to admit that at that time I had become more insect than human.  Now what?

Enter Wellington.  The man who inspired me to save myself.  He hails not from my world, yet with each day that passes our worlds become a little less distant.  At his best, he is affectionate and loving; at his worst he is the irritant that produces pearls.  Together we have created equal parts chaos and calm, we have chosen the ugliest words from a handful of languages for each other in moments of crisis, and have inspired in each other passion, venom, cruelty and strength.  With Wellington in my life, I have life.  Not a rose garden.  Life.  And so long as I keep my mind focused on that fact, on my life at this moment, with him in it, marriage loses all other meaning except for what we have, right now.  Hello, freedom to pursue my dreams and be the woman I always wanted to be.  What's that?  It was a man who helped me get here?  Well I'll be.  He really must be special.                                      


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to present you with...(Drumroll and cymbal crash): My first blog post

Hi people.  Theoretical as you may be, I dream of the day that you will all be real boys and girls - all reading, sighing, laughing, crying, belching, closing your browsers in disgust... One day you shall all be real readers and on that day that you all become real readers does that mean that I will become a real writer?  Oh I sure hope so.    For how I yearn to be a real writer! Though, for a not-so-strange reason I feel compelled to try to stop you now before it's too late.  For you see, my dearest theoretical readers, I worry for your sake.  The writing you are or shall soon be reading does not come from the mind of someone to whom you should give your trust.  No my lovelies, I will come clean before I even commit the crime: I am going to lie to you.  I'm going to gaze into your innocent little eyes - all the hundreds or thousands of shining eyes - and I'm going to seduce you with bald-faced untruths.  And you know what?  You will like it.  You might even delude yourself into believing that you love it, or, god forbid, that you love me.  But you know what else?  I will get away with the crime I commit against you. In fact, I already have.

If you are still reading, you are doing so having been warned, and apparently not taking that warning very seriously (an act I would advise against, but hey, we are all subject to free will and if you would like to be the agent of your own undoing, who am I to stop you?), and I can begin with my rants.  Welcome to my life.  Or I should say, welcome to my mind.  It is very dear to meet you, my new friends and acquaintances.  I am writing.  More specifically, I am the writing of a young such-and-such named Kerry.  In the beginning I was scrawled with crayons, my letters with too many appendages and not always adding up to anything with meaning.  For years after that I was in boot camp, being given what I needed to subsist but without any notion of what it must be like to be free to do make my own decisions about what to do with myself.  I suppose in retrospect we are nothing if we are never forced through at least one period of suffering, or at the very least, discomfort.  Once my splints were removed, I was a little bit awkward and shy.  I appeared in the odd text message or note left for a roommate or a lover.  When I really let fly and filled notebooks, I was ashamed of myself and mostly forced myself to stick to the shadows of an underwear drawer or neglected corner of a closet.  But it's all going to be different now, you see?  I've been very quietly building up the strength and the panache to seduce those would-be critics (yes I'm talking to you, all my theoretical readers) into liking me, and if I'm really lucky, into taking me seriously.  For I am writing, and I am Kerry.  So hear me type.

I am Kerry and I love writing.  I am writing and I love myself.  Perhaps my greatest defect is the inability to love people as much as I love words.  I love people though words, I suppose.  Without people there are no words.  I am fascinated by them.  How they play together, how they act in certain situations.  I could watch them for days and months and years and never get tired or bored.  Because there are always more!  Perhaps words should be considered one of the world's greatest resources.  Or perhaps I am simply an addict, no better off than the toothless man in the pharmacy trying to get more Sudafed.  No, push these negative thoughts aside.  People say words are good and drugs are bad.  People are right.  I forget that so often.  And anyhow, we all only get one life to live and why waste it worrying if we are doing the right thing all the time?  Sometimes everybody is wrong.  Everybody is wrong sometimes.  Sorry, Buddhists and Hindus and all believers in reincarnation and afterlives...I find the idea beautiful and I would love to believe in it with all my heart, but something always stops me.  My heart is a free agent and he believes what he wants to, and the latest message coming in is that there is a perfectly good time happening right here and right now.  You can see it, smell it, touch it, taste it and hear it.  Or maybe you can only do three or four of those things, still ain't bad.  You can still feel it.  Everybody brings what they have to the table and then we all eat and we all dance and we all live our one life together.  At least, that's the way I think things should be.

Sometimes I think that I speak like someone who has experienced hardship.  And I haven't.  At least nothing too special.  No major diseases or health problems to speak of.  Yes, I was in New York for 9/11 but I was relatively unaffected by the tragedy.  Yes, I've been nursing a broken marriage for the past year which sometimes still flairs up, but in some strange way all of that bad noise brought me closer to who I really am, which in turn brought me closer to the wonderful people I have the honor of calling my friends and family, and somewhat unexpectedly also brought me and my partner closer together.  (You will all meet him soon, promise).  In short probably the most important realization that I have made in my life is that my problems are drivel.  What's important is making the most out of this, my one life to live.